John was born in Ballitore, County Kildare, Ireland, one of the sons of Isaac and Ann Evans Jackson. He came with the family to London Grove Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1725.

In 1740, he married Sarah Miller. They had many children, including son John Jackson (1746-1795). The elder John remarried the widow Margaret Hayes Starr after the death of wife Sarah in about 1760. He passed away in 1791 at East Marlborough Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The son, the younger John, married Susanah Jackson (no relation) in 1768 at the New Garden Quaker Monthly Meeting in Chester County, Pennsylvania. John was a clockmaker (1770-1774)and farmer, and apparently joined the British army in Philadelphia in 1779. His property was seized and sold off via a bill of attainment.This family left PA in 1783-85 to settle at Beaver Harbour in Charlotte County, Nova Scotia (now New Brunswick), where John became a United Empire Loyalist. but returned to the Delaware/Maryland area in 1788 after the birth of their then youngest son, Thomas. (Note: New Garden MM records record the birth of Thomas in 1788, but other indications are thet he was actually born that same year at the Pennfield Colony in Nova Scotia.) At some point, John and Susannah disowned one another in the Quaker tradition.

Until 1795, parts of the family were connected to the Gunpowder MM in Baltimore County, Maryland until after the death of their father, and were then associated with the Wilmington, Delaware MM, then with the Kennett, Pennsylvania MM by December 1799. It is believed by one researcher-descendant that their son Thomas, probably of East Marlborough Township, likely married between 1808 and 1814.